February 22, 2018
    
 
  ...exploring the life-changing message of Jesus...
 
FAMILY-FRIENDLY WORSHIP SERVICES & MIDWEEK PRAYER MEETING

From May 28 until Labor day, we enjoy one worship service at 9:15 where we all come together as a family reunion through the Summer season.
 
During the School Year, we enjoy two worship experiences on Sunday mornings. For the early risers, 8:00 and then later in the morning at 10:30. Both services include traditional hymns, readings from the Holy Scriptures, Preaching and Prayers. Children are welcome and included in special ways. At 10:30, we have a choir that sings beautifully with Special Music.

Eat, Stay, and Pray—Community Prayer Service, Wednesdays, 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. This is an ecumenical prayer opportunity in the Sanctuary. A chance to pray to God. To listen for the Spirit of God. To be together in the hope of Jesus Christ. It will be open to our community meal guests and available to all the folks at Trinity who are not able to make it to church on Sunday mornings…and for anyone who wants a chance to pray in community during the week. If Sunday morning worship is a chance to get closer to God, then check it out and see what God can do on Wednesday nights!

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depth of our hearts.” 

 

Preacher’s Corner  for February

February starts off with the last two weeks of our Epiphany series ‘Along the Way: The People We Meet.’   From the night of his very birth, Jesus met lots of people. So do we. Revisiting and remembering the people we have met along the way gives us a chance to review the lessons that Jesus teaches us through his life. 

And then…in the middle of February, we will shift gears to the Season of Lent. Starting with Ash Wednesday, we enter into a time of more serious reflection on the meaning of sacrifice.

The sermons for Lent will focus us ‘At the Crossroads.’ We’ll explore the intersection of various choices as we think about the people who knew Jesus in those last days of his life. Some chose well and some did not. There is much we can learn about the Crossroad choices in our own lives. Come and be blessed by the words of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

Feb. 4, The People We Meet Along the Way: The Sick Ones. Mark 1:29-39

Feb. 11, Transfiguration Sunday. Along the Way: The Ancient Ones. Mark 9:2-9

Feb. 14, Ash Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. At the Crossroads: King David Confession. Psalm 51

Feb. 18, At the Crossroads: Judas Iscariot Betrayal/Temptation. John 13:21-30

Feb. 25, At the Crossroads: Simon the Zealot Suffering. Mark 8:31-38

Looking Ahead to Easter!

Ash Wednesday, February 14, at 6:00 p.m. Evening worship with music from our choir. Come for the Community Meal, and stay for the Imposition of Ashes.

Maundy Thursday, March 29, at 6:00 p.m. Evening worship with Communion and music from our choir.

Easter Sunday, April 1 (yes, April Fools Day!) There will be a Church-wide potluck brunch between the 8:00 and 10:30 worship services. Bring a dish to pass, and share the joy with your Church family.

 
 

 Preacher’s Corner   January 2018  Epiphany Worship

‘Along the Way: The People We Meet’ You’ve heard the old saying: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Think about this: As we journey together as disciples of Jesus: It’s not ‘where you go,’ so much as, ‘who you meet along the way.’ Everyone is a child of God, and everyone has something to teach us about God’s love. From his very birth, Jesus met lots of people. During the six weeks of the Season of Epiphany, we will revisit and reintroduce ourselves to the people along the way in the life of Jesus. While considering his experiences with them, we just might find ourselves giving thanks for the people we have met and learned from on our own journey along the way. Come and be blessed by the words of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

January 7, Epiphany Sunday. The Wise Ones. Matthew 2:1-12

January 14, Baptism of our Lord. The Wild Ones. Mark 1:4-11

January 21, Friends along the Way. Mark 1:14-20

January 28, The Unclean Ones. Mark 1:21-28

February 4, The Sick Ones. Mark 1:29-39

February 11, Transfiguration Sunday . The Ancient Ones. Mark 9:2-9

 
Preacher’s Corner--December, 2017

The Advent season has begun! You can see it in the decorations and the lights. You can hear it in the songs and the bells of The Salvation Army ringers. You can feel it in the brisk, cold, and icy wind. You can smell it in the Christmas cookies and spiced cider. You can know it as we remember the Bible stories that are so familiar and yet, in some ways, new each year.

The scriptures leading up to the Christmas event tell the story of the Hebrew people and their struggle to keep traditions alive. The stories of individual people…Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist…teach us about what happens when the divinity of God breaks into our ordinary lives. God brings new life, born out of faithful traditions. But ‘newness’ brings its own kind of challenges and fear. And God provides for that, too. We, like the Hebrew people, need help and reassurance. Who better to have with us than…Angels! Who keep it simple and remind us: Do not be afraid!

As we enjoy our traditions during this season, we will also welcome the Angels Among Us who bring us Messages from God…Messages that we can share with the world. Come to worship as we read the stories of God building new life on and among old traditions. Come and be blessed by the words of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

Nov. 26, Luke 1:5-25, 57-80. Zechariah and Elizabeth “Make Ready a People: Give More Hope!”

Dec. 3, Luke 1:26-56. Mary, mother of Jesus “Nothing is Impossible: Make More Peace!”

Dec. 10, Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 61:8-11. Joseph, Mary’s husband “Do Not Be Afraid: Feel More Joy!”

Dec. 17, Mark 1:1-8, Isaiah 40:1-11. John, the Baptist. Choir Cantata: ‘Love Came Down’

“Waiting on the Lord: Embrace Anticipation!”

Dec. 24, Luke 2:1-20. The Shepherds and their Sheep. “This Will be a Sign: Be Amazed!”

Dec. 31, Matthew 2:1-23. The Holy Family. “Get Up and Go: Live the Life!”

 Pastor’s Ponderings--December, 2017

The road to Christmas is filled with lights and colors and music that warm our hearts. People gather for special occasions and parties and fun activities that often include children and elders and friends from far away and neighbors who we often pass by too quickly the other times of the year. Christmas is a time of hospitality...of greeting and inviting and hanging out. It’s a time for us to ponder reverently the great honor that God showed us by daring bravely to come and ‘hang out’ on this earth with us human beings, where there is so much that can go wrong.

Yes, God came to us as the vulnerable, precious, and gentle baby Jesus...trusting, as babies do, without any concept of betrayal or abandonment. Loving, as babies do, without even knowing how much they are loved. Being with us in peace and joy, without even a hint of the darkness of death and destruction that come with life as we know it. How can we not greet this baby and give gracious and holy hospitality to such a child as this?

Let’s also take time to ponder the many opportunities here at Trinity UMC to extend that same hospitality and warmth to our friends and family and neighbors. For some people, Christmas just isn’t all that much fun. It’s a time of sorrow or loneliness or even fear. We can be a light in that darkness for those who struggle with seeing the lights of Christmas. This Tower newsletter is full of information about a variety of events here at Trinity…any one of which and all of which would be made even more wonderful if you came and brought someone with you to experience the richness of God’s love as we share it here at church. That just might be the best Christmas gift you could give to someone who doesn’t yet know that following Jesus means you never have to be alone...

Come...let us be gift-givers of hope and peace and love. My Christmas prayer is for you to find that in the giving of gifts of hospitality to others, you in turn receive the warmth and blessed assurance that God’s presence is sufficient for all of our needs. God really is with us…Glory to God in the Highest! Merry Christmas and blessings to all...Pastor Geri

 

 
Preacher’s Corner   November, 2017

Commitment/pledge time again. Soon you will receive a letter from the Stewardship & Generosity Team about how valuable it is when people take the time to estimate their ability to give to the operations of the church in the coming year. We know that Jesus tells us that giving is a good thing, but….but…it can be scary to think that we may not have enough. The sense that there is ‘not enough’ drives greed, fear, and isolating behaviors. Instead of living in the abundance of God’s love, we can find ourselves stuck living in ‘Scare City’ where it seems that death, starvation, chaos, and fear threaten to overwhelm and swallow us up.

The Good News is that this is an illusion. Jesus offers us a journey…a spiritual journey into the truth of abundance and an alternative vision of how to live our lives. The November preaching will have us ‘Moving Out of Scare City’ and traveling together to the vast, open habitats of God’s grace. Come and find out more about moving beyond scarcity into God’s Kingdom, where there is always enough…We travel together with the words of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

November 5, All Saints Sunday, ‘From Alpha to Omega.’ Genesis 11:1-9; Revelation 7:9-17.

November 12, Veterans Day Remembrance. ‘The Ultimate Sacrifice on the Way.’ Matthew 16:21-27; Acts 15:8-9.

November 19, ‘Altars Everywhere.’ Matthew 22:15-22; 1 Timothy 6:18-19.

November 26, The First Sunday of Advent will turn our attention to the beginning of the new Church year and to the beginning of Christ’s life on earth. As we prepare to celebrate the newness and birth of Jesus, we will pause to give thanks for the traditions that move us from one season to the next. During this time of anticipation and preparation, we will also remember the Angels who visited the family of Jesus to help usher them (and us) into a new understanding of God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

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Preacher’s Corner by Pastor Geri Hamlen     Since Easter, the preaching at Trinity has focused on trees, children, flames of grace, listening for Jesus, the rock of God’s love, and now in September, we will move to a four-part series about the Sacrament of Communion. The Table of our Lord serves as a reminder, a reunion, a rejoicing in the unity of our community with the past, the present, and the future. This month, we will learn more about the deeper meanings of the Holy Meal, through the common elements of bread and cup. Regardless of denomination or Orthodox branch of Christianity, there is remarkable agreement on the key prayers and movements of the Sacred Meal. Come and find out more about this blessed gift from Jesus through the words of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

Sept. 3 (last 9:15 worship), ‘Setting the Table’ Matthew 14:15 - 19 Genesis 2:4b-10, 15 - 17

Sept. 10 (two worship times), ‘Invitation to the Table’ Matthew 10:40-42, 11:25-30

Sept.17, ‘Blessing the Table’ Matthew 5:1-12, John 6:27-35

Sept. 24 (Charge Conference) ‘Extending the Table’ 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Matthew 26:26-30



 
Pastor’s Ponderings
The news is so much in the news right now.
Fake news.
Faulty journalism.
Biased reporting. Accusations and recriminations are flying over the air waves and the twitter-verse and through the virtual highways and by-ways.

Aren’t you glad that you are a disciple of Jesus in the midst of all this confusion? We already know that we can’t know the whole story on anything. We already know that God’s invisible grace and power is working in everything, all the time, whether we see it or not.

Paul said it so well…’for now we see in a mirror, dimly...’Cor. 13:12. We already know that more will be revealed, in God’s good time. Not on our ‘need to know’ basis. Think about it:

The disciples of Jesus didn’t know that Jesus was going to die on the cross, but they dedicated their lives and time to following him, learning from him, witnessing to his miracles, and being in community with other people who knew and loved him.

The disciples of Jesus didn’t know, when they saw Jesus dying on the cross, that there would be a joyful resurrection time, three days hence. No, they were frightened. They were grieving. They felt abandoned and alone. They even went into hiding so no one would know that they were still around.

But Easter dawn broke. The stone was rolled away. Christ is Alive!

The disciples of Jesus didn’t even know for sure how to react to the resurrection of Jesus but when the Holy Spirit came upon them, with tongues like flames and the sound of a rushing wind…they were invigorated. Challenged! Joyful… They didn’t know the hardships and the persecution and even martyrdom that would follow. But they knew that Jesus said: Be not afraid.

And they knew that God was in charge.

And they knew that all the destructive powers of this world—past, present, and future—would not succeed, because the victory of God in Jesus Christ is already complete. We just have all of these skirmishes and battles still to deal with as we wait for history to play out, in God’s good time. While we wait, we can pray for the rest of the world to catch up with God’s desire for peace on Earth, good will towards all people everywhere.

When the news from imperfect sources starts to bother me with confusion and even fear about what may or may not happen next…I remember God’s goodness, love, and mercy. Paul goes on in 1 Cor. 13:12 to say… ‘Now I know only in part; then I will know fully even as I have been fully known.’ God knows us fully. God knows the depth of the world’s need and heartache…fully and completely. Jesus died and rose again so that we can be filled full with hope, hope eternal…and live in faith and love, knowing that ‘…the greatest of these is love.’ There is nothing false about that!

May the love of God, the communion of the Holy Spirit, and the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. In His name….

Pastor Geri

 
Come and join us for an active and vibrant celebration of faith and worship of our Lord through the wonderful music of the Trinity Adult Choir!
 
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Perched behind the Sanctuary
 
Young children and babies can enjoy some space, while parents can still enjoy our worship service in our overflow room, to the back and above the sanctuary. This is also where you are invited to take part in the technical aspect of our worship if that is where your talent and interests lie, with audio equipment, our computer support and PowerPoint slide show, which accompany our services, and other modern enhancements to the worship experience